Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Papilionidae (pap-ill-lee-ON-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Papilio (pap-ILL-ee-oh) (Info)
Species: rutulus


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Chino Valley, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
Long Beach, California
Malibu, California
North Fork, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Tulare, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Culver, Indiana
Hebron, Kentucky
Butte, Montana
Reno, Nevada
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Kellyville, Oklahoma
Gold Hill, Oregon
Grants Pass, Oregon
Carrollton, Texas
Irving, Texas
Magna, Utah
Sequim, Washington
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Members' Notes:


On Dec 14, 2016, AFinSD from San Diego, CA wrote:

I have seen this butterfly at various places in San Diego. One of the more memorable encounters happened a few years ago at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.

A Western Tiger Swallowtail landed on a piece of paper that I was holding. It stayed there completely motionless for a few seconds, then fluttered away. Awesome!


On Sep 13, 2010, caobr549 from Tupelo, MS wrote:

I've seen two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails in my backyard in the last two weeks, I can't remember seeing one here before. They are absolutely gorgeous! I have a wild cherry tree, so I hope one of them left some eggs on it for my enjoyment next year.


On Aug 16, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Wing span: 2 3/4 - 4 inches (7 - 10 cm).

Identification: Upperside of hindwing with upper-most marginal spot yellow or lacking. Underside of forewing with separate yellow spots forming marginal band. Hindwing has narrow marginal spots and no orange tint except for 2 spots near end of inner margin.

Life history: Males patrol canyons or hilltops for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on surface of host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest on silken mats in shelters of curled leaves. Chrysalids hibernate.

Flight: One flight from June-July.

Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of cottonwood and aspen (Populus), willows (Salix), wild cherry (Prunus), and ash (Fraxinus).

Adult food: Nectar from many flowers inc... read more